St. Clair Co. parents upset at loss of special counseling progra - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

St. Clair Co. parents upset at loss of special counseling program

Raymond Ryder, Jr. plays outside on Thursday. Source: WBRC video Raymond Ryder, Jr. plays outside on Thursday. Source: WBRC video
ST. CLAIR COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

A program dedicated to keeping students healthy is ending in St. Clair County.

The "Safe Schools Healthy Students" initiative is a national program focusing on mental health and academic achievement.

"I just can't imagine without them there to help," said Rebecca Raymond, whose son is the program.

Since the age of three, Rebecca and her husband Raymond said Little Raymond has been defiant.

"He's always been rambunctious and hard up. He's breaking stuff and always being mean to his sister and always being mean to me," said Raymond.

Raymond said his son has Attention Deficit Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

It's a combination the Ryders said make for a tumultuous living situation both in and out of the house.

"The teachers were having so much trouble with him they were having to send him home every day of the week," said Raymond.

It was when Little Raymond's principal recommended the Safe program that they say things changed for the better.

"He stopped being sent home. He started minding, sitting in class. Doing his homework," said Rebecca.

The program has been funded through a government grant secured a few years ago.

Jan Bailey with the St. Clair County Board of Education said the grant lasted them through last year.

She credits the director of the program with finding enough money to keep the program going until September 30th of this year.

"I hate to see them shut down. It's such a good program and it helps so many kids. It's not just my child that's being helped," said Rebecca.

Bailey said it takes $200,000 to $300,000 to run the program each year.

She said they are looking for grants and other funding to try and save the program.

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